SA should expel the Israeli embassy and immediately terminate all diplomatic relations

Julius Malema President and CIC of the EFF

Julius Malema President and CIC of the EFF

Published Nov 22, 2023


Julius Sello Malema

On November 16, the revolutionary movement of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) introduced a motion to the Speaker of Parliament. This motion sought the termination of all diplomatic relations with the apartheid State of Israel and, in particular, the removal of its embassy from South Africa.

A draft resolution was subsequently tabled with the understanding that when the full plenary of Parliament sits, at a date that is yet to be set, that the house will hopefully vote in favour of the EFF and set the correct tone for dealing with the Zionist mass murderers.

The motion was also propelled by the brutal and inhuman violence that the apartheid State of Israel has unleashed on the people of Palestine over the past several weeks. This violence has seen over 11 000 Palestinians massacred in an unprecedented military bombardment of unarmed, innocent and helpless civilians. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has, so far, murdered 4 650 children, 3 145 women, 198 medics, 22 civil defence personnel and 51 journalists.

Further reports indicate that 3 600 people remain unaccounted for, while there are 29 200 Palestinians in Gaza that are said to be injured. This number of unaccounted people regrettably includes 1 755 children. These are the results of the brutality meted out by Israel to Palestine and her people. The injured cannot seek assistance as 25 hospitals and 52 health-care centres are currently out of service and ambulances are also being targeted. A clear illustration that Israel is at war and intends on wiping Palestinians off the face of the Earth.

The EFF will not be deterred by members of Parliament who might seek to reduce the atrocities in Palestine to a provocation by Hamas and their resistance on October 7. The story of Palestine must be presented in its entirety and it must include the 70 years of inhumanity rendered by Israel when they began their colonial military occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by Zionist forces that established the State of Israel in 1948 as an apartheid state.

The public deserves a true and accurate account of the history of Palestine and not one that seeks to defend the actions of Israel. This brutal history stems back to a time where what the Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, where Zionist colonial forces backed by the British and US governments, expelled a staggering 750 000 Palestinians from their homes, thus capturing 78% of historic Palestine.

Even with the remainder of 22%of the land, the Palestinians were never allowed any form of self-determination. They have lived under Israeli military occupation without basic human rights such as the right to life, the right to equality, the right to a fair trial, the right to protest, the right to freedom of speech, movement, assembly and media freedom.

Since 2000, over 12 000 Palestinian children have been detained. Of these, over 700 children have been prosecuted every year, mostly in military courts. In addition, Israel has over 7 000 political prisoners, 200 of which are children. This gives credence to the fact that the lives of Palestinian children are not valued by Israel with an average of 204 children placed in custody monthly since 2012. So what we are witnessing today, definitely did not start in 2023.

It is evident that Israel treats Palestinian children in the same manner that the apartheid government in South Africa treated Tsietsi Mashinini, Hector Pieterson, and many who were murdered in Soweto in 1976, and beyond.

Israel, through its apartheid conduct, also constructed a wall and fence that separates Palestinian towns and villages from Israeli settlements which are designated for Jews only in the occupied West Bank and other areas around Gaza.

In Gaza, for over 50 years, this has caused a population of two million people living on top of each other, in overcrowded conditions that can be described as open-air prisons. This is the most densely populated area on Earth.

Additionally, in true apartheid fashion, there are over 100 racially discriminated checkpoints. These are designed to target and dehumanise Palestinians. Israel has also launched four protracted military attacks on Palestine between 2008 and 2021. The 2008 assault involved the use of internationally banned weaponry, such as phosphorus gas, one of the most torturous forms of death.

Furthermore, in 2014 Israel killed more than 2 100 Palestinians, including 1 462 civilians and close to 500 children. During the assault dubbed Operation Protective Edge, Israel wounded 11 000 people, destroyed 20 000 homes and left a further half a million Palestinians displaced.

What is happening in Palestine is a systematic and gradual genocide unleashed by a state that established itself as an ethnic exclusive state for Jews at the expense of indigenous populations. This must be vehemently rejected by all South Africans and the rest of the world because Israel calls itself a Jewish state, and dismisses any opposition of its brutal apartheid system by calling it “anti-Semitic”. However, there is nothing anti-Semitic about opposing an injustice, particularly apartheid.

To be clear, Zionism does not equal Jewishness or Judaism. No one must manipulate scriptures in the Bible or the Torah to promote ethnic cleansing, racism, and the mass murder of people. There are no special human beings with the right to massacre others so that they can subsequently benefit from the stolen land. We are all chosen people of God. We are all loved by God and we must all oppose any form of inequality and racism, even by those who do it in the name of God.

The world must therefore never buy into the lie and propaganda that this is a religious war because what is happening in Palestine is not a Holy War. It is an evil war by an evil regime that is driving an evil agenda. Israel is a Zionist apartheid regime seeking to wipe Palestinians off the face of the Earth. The Palestinians have all the rights to exist, particularly in the land of their ancestors.

I, therefore, firmly believe that the world should isolate Israel through boycotts, divestment and sanctions until they end their military occupation and allow Palestinian refugees in surrounding countries such as Lebanon and Syria the right to return to their home.

President Ramaphosa and his ANC government should immediately shut down the Israeli embassy in Pretoria and end all diplomatic relations with that brutal apartheid Israeli regime. In the name of our own constitutional values, South Africa must cut relations until the human rights of Palestinians are respected, promoted and protected. Israel must comply with international law and, until then, any relations with them must be regarded as offensive to our Constitution.

Julius Malema is the President and CIC of the EFF

The Star